This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
Fits (also called seizures) are the result of uncontrolled neurological activity in the cerebral cortex area of the forebrain. There are numerous different causes including kidney disease, liver disease and idiopathic epilepsy....
It is quite a shock to witness a person or an animal having a fit. The individual loses consciousness and collapses. There are uncontrolled sometimes violent muscle movements, limb movements and twitching. Often this is accompanied by urinary and faecal incontinence. Animals frequently vocalise during the fit - manifest as howling or barking in dogs, and meiowing in cats.
are many causes of fits :
Isolated fits usually only last 1-3 minutes and, although patients are somewhat dazed and show abnormal behaviour for a few hours after the fit, there are usually no long term adverse effects. However, sometimes a series of seizures occurs together - a state called called "status epilepticus" - which is potentially life-threatening.
Veterinary attention should be sought as soon as possible - particularly for animals in "status epilepticus". If you see the seizures it is important to note down everything that you see before, during and after the fit occurs. Note the order in which events occur - because this record will help your veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis. If your pet has idiopathic epilepsy the fits may only occur once every 6-12 months, so it is unlikely that your veterinarian will be able to witness them at first hand.
If there is an underlying cause for the seizures - as with reactive (extracranial) forms, an accurate diagnosis must be made and appropriate treatment must be given. If the diagnosis is idiopathic epilepsy long term treatment may be needed to control the seizures - but a permanent cure is not possible. Because idiopathic epilepsy may have a genetic cause affected animals should not be used fro breeding.
Updated October 2013